Pierre Curie

Pierre Curie ( born May 15, 1859 in Paris, † April 19, 1906 ) was a French physicist and Nobel laureate.


Pierre Curie was born as the second son of the physician Eugène Curie and Sophie -Claire Depouilly daughter of a factory in Paris. He was taught by private tutors, put the age of 16 from the High School. At age 19, he earned a degree in physics. As a result, Curie was appointed teacher at the School of Physics and Chemistry in Paris, which he headed from 1882. He completed his PhD in 1895 and was appointed professor. 1900 Curie coach at the École polytechnique was.

On 26 July 1895 he married the Polish physicist Maria Skłodowska, with whom he had two daughters, Irène and Ève.

Pierre Curie died on April 19, 1906 in Paris at the age of 46 years in a traffic accident when he fell under a cab and suffered a fractured skull.


In his early studies on the crystallography, which he carried out with his older brother Jacques, he discovered in 1880 piezoelectricity. Further work on symmetry directed his attention to the field of magnetism and discoveries named after him Curie temperature Curie law and Curie constant.

Together with his wife Marie, he discovered radium and polonium in 1898 as cleavage products of pitchblende. In 1903, he shared with his wife Marie Curie one half of the Nobel Prize in Physics "in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint work on the discovered by H. Becquerel radiation phenomena ," the second half of the prize went to Henri Becquerel.

Writings (selection )

  • Marie and Pierre Curie: The new radioactive substances and their radiation. 1900
  • Marie and Pierre Curie: About the radioactive body. 1901
  • Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel: Physiological effects of radium rays. 1901
  • Pierre Curie: More than the absolute measure of time. 1902
  • Oeuvres de Pierre Curie. 1908; online


  • Davy Medal, Royal Society, 1903
  • Nobel Prize in Physics, 1903
  • Election to the Academy of Sciences, 1905
  • The chemical element Curium with the atomic number 96 was named in honor of the couple Pierre and Marie Curie.
  • In 1995, the remains of Pierre and Marie Curie were transferred to the Panthéon.